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    Arent & Pyke designs Sydney hair salon to be “best appreciated from seated height”

    Triangular slabs of terrazzo and a vintage chandelier frame Sydney’s Koda hair salon, which local studio Arent & Pyke has conceived as an eclectic mishmash of old and new.

    Located on the upper mezzanine level of the city’s George McRae-designed Queen Victoria Building, the salon was created for Australian hairdresser Koda.
    Arent & Pyke created terrazzo tiling for the floorArent & Pyke created the interiors to “be best appreciated from seated height”, placing wide quartzite-rimmed mirrors at angles in front of the curved black styling chairs to offer a contrast with the salon’s tall ceilings.
    The move was made “given that clients are accustomed to looking up and down” when getting their hair done, the studio explained.
    The studio painted the ceilings in an “energising” gold hueTriangular slabs of dusty pink and forest green terrazzo line Koda’s floors, which Arent & Pyke chose to mimic the marble flooring of Villa Planchart – a house in Caracas, Venezuela, completed by architect Gio Ponti in 1956.

    Ceilings were painted an “energising” shade of gold and fitted with delicate timber battens that conceal various services while in one corner, a geometric 1970s chandelier illuminates the space from above.
    Koda’s interior was designed to “be best appreciated from seated height””Both nostalgic and futuristic, Koda is a majestic work of sculpt fiction,” Arent & Pyke said.
    “Four elongated windows crowned with coloured glass pool light from within, so the built spine intentionally reaches approximately half of the rear salon’s 4.5-metre ceiling height, enabling appreciation of their beauty from every vantage point.”

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    Brightly coloured accents were paired with burlwood mid-century furniture including a low-slung credenza topped with glossy cobalt-blue display shelving.
    The studio aimed to rid the space of “transactional” clutter, replacing traditional tool trolleys with cylindrical styling stands with aged brass details designed by Arent & Pyke.
    Arent & Pyke aimed to rid the salon of “transactional” clutterCurving light-hued timber cabinetry was also mounted to the blush-toned walls to create eclectic storage.
    A translucent pale pink curtain was suspended from a rail to create a layer of privacy for the wash bay, which was positioned on a raised platform.
    A translucent pale pink curtain creates a layer of privacy for the wash bay”Koda is a crafted tale of artisanal vision balancing angled poise with organic shapes and undulating forms,” said Arent & Pyke.
    Founded by Juliette Arent and Sarah-Jane Pyke in 2007, the studio previously renovated a 1930s Sydney home with a monochromatic interior.
    Other notable hair salon interiors include a minimalist Swedish outlet finished in pastel colours and a US barbershop with a cavernous cork lounge.
    The photography is by Prue Ruscoe. 

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    PW Architecture Office brings “a little excitement” back into mid-century Australian home

    Australian firm PW Architecture Office has revived the fortunes of this mid-century house in Orange, New South Wales, with a sensitive renovation that respects the original building while taking design cues from its material palette.

    Park Lane house was originally designed by noted Australian architect Neville Gruzman for the 1962 Carlingford Home Fair before being built in 1964 by construction company Kell & Rigby – known for its work on Sydney’s landmark Grace Building.
    PW Architecture Office has renovated a 1960s house by Neville GruzmanWhen Paddy Williams, founder of PW Architecture Office, discovered that the house was on the market in 2022, the team went to take a look out of architectural curiosity.
    The studio was immediately seduced by the sense of flow between the indoor and outdoor spaces of the 1964 house and the quality of the design, construction and materials, despite the fact that it had been through several unsympathetic renovations.
    Pergolas frame the entrance to the house”We loved the sense of arrival created by the pergolas and colonnade that lead you past the garden and pond into the entrance hall,” Williams said.

    “Pavilion-style wings separate the shared spaces from the private and we loved the way the pergolas wrap around the house and terraces, framing different spaces in the garden.”
    The home’s original Oregon timber beams were exposedThe practice ended up buying and renovating the house as a short-term rental for other modernist architecture lovers.
    “We felt a real sense of responsibility to do the project justice and retain the elements of the plan and materials as they were intended,” Williams said.
    “We wanted to bring a little excitement back into this mid-century marvel, as it would have had when it was first built.”
    A double-sided fireplace divides the living and dining areasFeeling that the floorplan still worked successfully, PW Architecture Office (PWAO) left it unchanged and set out to revive and celebrate the house’s original character while bringing it up to 21st-century living standards.
    “We’ve designed it to be a modern take on the mid-century aesthetic, with an immediate sense of relaxation and peace through a refined palette and connection between house and gardens,” Williams told Dezeen.
    Textural wood wool panels clad the walls in the living roomRemoving the worn-out carpets revealed the home’s original Australian cypress floorboards, which were sanded and polished to freshen them up.
    Elsewhere, PWAO replaced vinyl flooring with “durable and low-maintenance” micro-cement in the smaller living room, kitchen and some bathrooms.

    Eight renovated mid-century homes that marry period and contemporary details

    In the main living room, false ceilings were taken out to expose the original Oregon timber beams, now infilled with hardwood timber and tiled bulkheads.
    “When we pulled down the badly damaged plasterboard, the beams were in such great condition and had a beautiful texture so we decided to keep them on show,” Williams said.
    “This also allowed us to increase the height of the ceiling and play with the scale and rhythm of the beams.”
    Micro-cement was used to finish some of the floorsIn the panelled entrance hall, the original native blackbean timber needed only a little care to restore its rich varied tones, also seen on the doors throughout the house.
    Elsewhere PWAO used acacia as a feature timber for panelling and detailing across headboards, stair treads and integrated shelving.
    “We’ve used these acacia elements in a playful pattern,” the studio said. “They’re in an ongoing conversation with the original blackbean timber used around the house.”
    Terracotta tiles nod to the home’s original material paletteIn the larger living space, a double-sided fireplace helps to zone the living and dining areas, while the walls were clad in textural wood wool panels – a composite made from recycled timber fibres.
    “It is actually a thermal and acoustic panel, typically used for ceilings,” Williams said. “We thought it was a fabulous opportunity to provide texture on the walls.”
    Similar warm terracotta tones also feature in the bedroomThroughout the house, terracotta tiles add to the sense of warm earthiness established through the material palette.
    “The mosaic tiles were influenced by the original terracotta tiles in the entrance foyer,” the architect explained. “The smaller grids we’ve used are in contrast to the larger original terrace tiles, as well as the grid of the house itself, creating a play on scale.”
    When the wiring was replaced, PWAO also had the opportunity to integrate the house with smart home technology, allowing the lights, heating, fans and irrigation to be controlled via an app, balancing modernist aesthetics with modern convenience.
    The bathroom was designed to matchDezeen recently rounded up eight other mid-century home renovations that marry period and contemporary details.
    Among them was another 1960s Australian house with interiors updated by local studio Design Theory for a young client and her dog.
    The photography is by Monique Lovick.

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    Luchetti Krelle brings laid-back luxury to social spaces of Manly Pacific hotel

    Spicy shades of turmeric, cinnamon and ginger feature alongside mosaic tiles and hand-painted murals in the public spaces of this hotel in Sydney, following a makeover from local studio Luchetti Krelle.

    The renovation encompassed Manly Pacific’s lobby as well as its 55 North bar and a few neighbouring lounge areas, all located on the hotel’s ground floor, which opens directly onto Manly Beach.
    Luchetti Krelle has overhauled the lobby of Sydney’s Manly Pacific hotelIn the reception area, Luchetti Krelle created an intimate lounge setting to bring a sense of warmth and welcome into the otherwise vast white space while creating a link to the more richly decorated drinking spaces beyond.
    Tactile sofas and clubby armchairs are clustered around a chequerboard table looking onto a fireplace that mixes tile and timber in a mid-century-influenced design.
    Latticed screens create a loose separation between Manly Pacific’s reception and the adjoining bar area, which introduces a richer palette of colours and materials to forge a sense of laid-back luxury.

    The studio also renovated the adjoining bar”A loose luxury defines our approach to the reappointment of the bar and neighbouring lounge areas,” Luchetti Krelle said.
    “Layered textures, spiced tonal triggers and punchy patterns were selected to energise the drinking spaces with a graceful attitude that prioritised home comfort.”
    55 North is centred on an impressive island bar that curves outwards into the room to create a sense of welcome.
    Crazy paving in autumnal hues defines the bar areaThe bar’s outlines are mirrored by the lines of the bulkhead ceiling above, creating a shape reminiscent of a clamshell that draws the eye across the room and brings a cosy intimacy to the bar area.
    “Hospitality design is about making people feel welcome, relaxed and confident so less noticeable elements drove our process,” the studio said.
    “We lowered the bar’s original height so smaller guests didn’t feel intimidated by its stature, adding custom leather swivel stools with curved returns to encourage lengthier sittings.”
    Lattice screens help to loosely divide the spaceThe client had originally requested a new bar closer to the lobby. But Luchetti Krelle chose instead to improve the existing design to conserve waste and save valuable build time.
    “As with all hospitality projects, there is an added pressure to complete the build and installation within deadline, given commercial pressures to open for business,” the studio said.
    “So we saved time finding creative solutions to transform existing elements, avoiding demolition and the waste of materials.”
    A series of lounge spaces lead off the barOpening off the main bar area is a series of lounges.
    Through the careful use of curves, arches and latticed screens, Luchetti Krelle designed these spaces to flow from one to another with a clear sense of continuity, while each area maintains its own distinct character and sense of purpose.
    “We created adjoining rooms to encourage hotel guests to treat the space like an extension of their home during the day,” the studio said.

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    On the beach side, a sunroom takes its cues from the vista with striped and patterned upholstery in a palette of cooling blues that tether the space to the seascape beyond.
    To the rear of the bar, a former gaming room has become an expansive cocktail lounge, where arches frame three intimate booths and the eye is led across the room by an underwater scene, painted onto Venetian plaster by local mural studio Steady Hand Studio.
    Cool blue tones connect the sunroom to Manly Pacific’s beachside settingTiles are the protagonist material of this project, defining each area.
    “Intricate autumnal crazy paving lures eyes through latticed screens that lightly separate the lobby and bar,” said Luchetti Krelle.
    “Waves of fanned pearl-hued marble mosaics accentuate the rear lounge’s sophistication. Within the front sun lounge, tessellated Indian green and Carrara marble mosaic arrangements mimic the effect of a rug.”
    The sunroom opens straight onto Manly BeachTimber, too, plays a large part in the design, used across walls, ceilings, arches and booths – particularly in the bar.
    “It was important to use varied timber species, including Blackbutt and walnut, to add textural depth and warm shades,” the studio said.
    A variety of plaster finishes introduce another level of texture while helping to convey a sense of history and permanence, according to Luchetti Krelle.
    A hand-painted mural dominates the cocktail lounge in the rearThese include the teal plaster applied to the bulkhead surround of the main bar, which features a glossy underside to bring a sense of lightness to the structure.
    And in the ocean-side lounge, the pale sand shade of the fireplace wall cools the space during summer, reflecting the sunlight.
    Seating booths are enveloped in cosy archesThe Manly Pacific is among a number of hospitality projects that Luchetti Krelle has completed in Sydney over the last two years.
    Among them is a bar set inside a former butcher shop as well as the restaurant RAFI, characterised by vivid abstract paintings and patterned floors.
    The photography is by Tom Ferguson.

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    Chipboard and recycled denim define spaces inside Microloft in Melbourne

    Australian architecture practice Studio Edwards has completed an exercise in contemporary small-space living with this 24-square-metre micro apartment in Melbourne’s Fitzroy district.

    The clients, a young couple, approached Studio Edwards to remodel the tiny studio apartment on the top floor of a 1980s apartment block.
    Microloft is a 24-square-metre apartment in Melbourne”They asked for a home that felt unified and clutter-free, with ample storage, an efficient kitchen with space for cooking and dining, a comfortable lounge and quiet sleeping zones,” founder Ben Edwards told Dezeen.
    “Microloft provides a solution for inner-city living that navigates the constraints of limited space and ageing housing stock through an interior that provides the clients with a functional and coherent dwelling.”
    Aluminium was used to form kitchen counters and shelvesRather than using partitions or walls, spaces are defined by custom furniture pieces that provide visual connections.

    A horizontal raw aluminium surface forms angled countertops in both the kitchen and dining area before extending through an existing double archway into the sleeping area beyond.
    Chipboard forms several other storage units throughout Micoloft”Angled elements act in a similar way to room dividers, nothing extends higher than the datum line, helping the space to remain open,” said Edwards.
    “The kitchen melds seamlessly into a dining space via the angled countertop, while triangular storage shelves make use of the corners of the room.”

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    The angular wedge shape of the aluminium counters is mirrored in a wall-mounted console and a custom-made sofa with bookshelves integrated into its base, both made from oriented strand board (OSB).
    Above the datum line, one wall is clad in grey mirrored panels to make the apartment appear larger while creating a visual link to the grey-painted exposed brick walls and the heavily patinated concrete floor.
    The bed sits on a raised chipboard plinth to maximise bedroom storage, while the sliding door of the wardrobe, as well as the apartment’s front door, are wrapped in recycled denim to provide further textural interest as well as acoustic softening.
    Among them is the wardrobe in the bedroom”Use of raw aluminium surfaces, along with the OSB plinth that elevates the bed, provide creative storage solutions while delivering refined aesthetic appeal,” said Edwards.
    Simple IKEA stools were customised to fit in with the apartment, with a bedside stool wrapped in recycled denim to further soften the acoustics in this space.
    In the dining area, the same stools were extended with aluminium legs to create high seats for bench-top dining.
    A recycled denim panel forms the wardrobe’s sliding doorMicro homes are among a number of solutions being explored by architects and interior designers in response to Melbourne’s worsening housing crisis, as the city saw record rent increases last year.
    Others have explored creating multi-generational homes where family members can split both spaces and costs, as seen in this house on a narrow infill site by Matt Gibson and this adaptable suburban home by Austin Maynard Architects.
    Maynard also recently self-funded the construction of an “ethical housing” block in inner-city Melbourne, accommodating 20 low-cost, eco-conscious apartments with enough room for young families.
    The photography is by Peter Bennetts.

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    Design Theory updates mid-century coastal home in Perth

    In the City Beach suburb of Perth in Western Australia, interiors studio Design Theory has updated a tired house from the 1960s while remaining true to the rich palette of natural materials in the original design.

    The young client wanted a home where she could entertain friends and live with her dogs in a durable, easy-to-clean, pet-proof home with a reworked plan making space for three bedrooms and two bathrooms.
    Design Theory has renovated a 1960s house in Perth”The brief was, on the surface, simple: to update the home while keeping its considerable mid-century charm,” said Design Theory.
    “While its strengths lay in its architectural form and south-facing windows, our innovative approach to the project was essential in bringing contemporary functionality and sustainability to the fore,” the studio added.
    “By specifying with our client’s lifestyle in mind and considering every detail, she feels relaxed to use the house the way she wants to.”

    Carpet tiles bring tactility into the sunken loungeOnce the project was underway, Design Theory quickly discovered that the structure was largely rotten and had suffered significant termite damage, so extensive restoration work was required.
    “We established an early rationale to restore base-building elements in keeping with the original architecture and interior elements,” the studio said.
    “Joinery, finishes and furniture would be new, informed by mid-century design. This allowed the home to evolve yet respect the heritage of this special building.”
    Yellow mosaic tiles feature across the kitchen counterOtherwise, the house only needed sensitive restoration and a light touch to bring it up to date, according to the studio, due to its prescient emphasis on natural light, fresh air and modern, unpretentious living.
    “Our design cues were taken from the era of the house’s original design, a time of humbler, honest materials and restrained detailing,” said Design Theory co-founder Lisa Reeves.
    “Where cabinetry needed restoration, it was updated in respectful ways, always with a nod to what may have come before us.”
    Design Theory introduced Blackbutt timber details to the interiorThe material palette celebrates warm, earthy materials: exposed brick in terracotta tones, native Blackbutt timber and a cork-like Forbo Marmoleum on the floors.
    In the sunken lounge area, carpet tiles bring an added element of comfort and a distinctive gridded visual effect.
    The heavy use of richly toned timber and brick is balanced by the white of the painted wall sections, the grid-like window frames and low-hanging pendant lighting.

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    For the kitchen counters and the bathrooms, simple mosaic tiles continue the textural theme, while referencing the home’s early-60s origins.
    “We embraced a quintessentially West Australia landscape-inspired palette of Eucalyptus greens, warm timbers and sunset oranges,” the studio said.
    Forbo Marmoleum flooring was added for textural interestIn the kitchen, subtle detailing on the cabinetry such as the full-width handles adds visual interest without grabbing undue attention, while an orange range cooker adds a retro touch.
    The client acquired several pieces of vintage furniture along with the house, which Design Theory was keen to retain and restore.
    Mint green tiles feature throughout one of the two bathroomsAs a counterpoint to these mid-century elements, contemporary furniture in gently curving forms softens the rigorous lines of the original architecture and prevents the interiors from feeling like a period pastiche.
    Key pieces of hardware such as original door furniture and pendant lighting were also refurbished and reinstated, “lending an authenticity to the home’s new life”, according to the studio.
    The built-in bathtub is also made from multicoloured mosaic tilesOther residential projects in Perth that have been featured on Dezeen include a family home formed from arched panels of precast concrete and a wood-and-brick extension for a couple of empty nesters.
    The photography is by Jack Lovel.

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    YSG draws on beach clubs of Ibiza and Cancun for redesign of Sydney coastal home

    Australian interiors studio YSG has updated a holiday home in Sydney’s Palm Beach suburb, layering it with a maximalist mix of colours, patterns and textures.

    The 400-square-metre house belongs to a young family who wanted a place to escape during the holidays while still providing space for remote working.
    YSG renovated a holiday home in Sydney’s Palm BeachThe home’s original furnishings were included in the sale but the clients were less than enthused by the nautical colour palette, seashells and model yachts.
    “The weathered features and cliched seaside tropes, amongst other things, deterred their visits,” said Yasmine Ghoniem, founder and director of YSG.
    Its living and dining area are separated by a small stepYSG took cues from the rustic beach clubs of Ibiza and Cancun for the revamp, with a touch of French Riviera refinement to create “a palpably playful mood for entertaining”.

    The house was given a full overhaul, with worn floorboards sanded back to reveal warmer timber accents while windows and doors were replaced with more slimline versions.
    Details from a painting in the lounge were carried over onto the wallsIn the sunroom, tongue-and-groove panelling was removed for a more contemporary look while a mirrored wall was taken out because it caused the room to overheat.
    A new rose-tinted marble floor extends to skirting height, amplifying the sense of space while helping to keep the room cool. In the kitchen, YSG added a stone island “that recalls the ombre shades of a freshly poured tequila sunrise”.
    Chequerboard tiles surround the poolThe couple also asked for a second master suite, so that they could each have their own retreat while working remotely.
    “We designed integrated marble and timber desks, enabling both to simultaneously work privately from their rooms whilst enjoying views from the upper level,” Ghoniem said.

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    For the all-important exterior areas, which wrap around the house on each level, YSG provided a material refresh by removing the old heavy paving and weathered grey timber as they distracted from the views.
    The pool area now features a chequerboard pattern of tumbled marble cobblestones while the dark blue pool tiles were replaced with a lighter finish and the chrome fence posts were powder-coated in a soft white tone to prevent glaring reflections.
    The home’s stone kitchen island is made from thickly veined stoneYSG added a playful painting in the living room that acted as a starting point for the home’s entire interior scheme, including the colour palette of ochres, yellows, and reds.
    Its motifs such as palm trees and fruit are repeated throughout the house across prints and cushions, as well as being hand-painted onto walls and doors.
    The home also has a second lounge areaEven the painting’s chequered top border is continued as a hand-painted datum line across the living room to enliven the otherwise plain walls.
    Ghoniem also repeated the same device on the side of the raised step that lead to the dining area, “artistically acknowledging a trip hazard”.
    The bedrooms were designed to provide space for remote workingIn the sunroom, hand-painted swirls soften the beams while in one of the master bedrooms, the vertical red lines of a nude painting were playfully continued onto the wall above the artwork.
    The rich material palette features many types of marble, including Giallo, Toledo and Tiberio along with honed travertine and French wash walls, while the textiles include linen and kimono silk.
    Chequerboard tiling also features in some of the bathroomsYSG has completed a number of projects across Sydney, including another house in a coastal suburb with tactile finishes and a penthouse for a couple of empty nesters.
    The photography is by Prue Ruscoe.

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    India Mahdavi creates colourful scenography for Pierre Bonnard exhibition in Melbourne

    Iranian-French architect India Mahdavi has designed an exhibition to present works by French painter Pierre Bonnard at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne.

    Pierre Bonnard: Designed by India Mahdavi presents more than 100 works by the famed 20th-century artist who is celebrated for applying an iridescent palette.
    India Mahdavi has offered her take on Pierre Bonnard’s paintings through the exhibition scenographyThe scenography design by Mahdavi, also known for her use of colour, is intended to create “an impression of his world, through my own eyes” according to the architect.
    Instead of typical white gallery walls, the spaces are awash with bold hues and patterns that she has chosen to complement the artworks.
    The architect chose colors and patterns to complement the artworksMany of the shades of yellow, pink, orange and green that adorn the walls and floors are lifted directly from the canvases, while floral-inspired repeated patterns offer a contrasting backdrop.

    Large carpets continue these motifs at different scales across the floors.
    Many of the colours were lifted from the artworksMahdavi has also placed some of her own furniture designs in the gallery spaces, offering visitors the opportunity to pause and appreciate the paintings and their surroundings.
    “Mahdavi envelopes Pierre Bonnard’s works in an environment that complements Bonnard’s distinct use of colour and texture, and evokes the wistful domestic intimacy for which his paintings are renowned,” said the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV).
    Several of Mahdavi’s furniture designs are placed in the galleriesBonnard was born in 1867, and his artistic career took off in the 1890s in Paris, where he began capturing street life.
    The artist’s focus then moved to domesticity, followed by landscapes thanks to the influence of his friend and neighbour in Normandy, Claude Monet.
    The exhibition is divided into 11 themes based on the subject matter of Bonnard’s paintingsBonnard later relocated to the south of France and created a large body of work there before his death in 1947.
    “The paintings of Pierre Bonnard depict intimate domestic interiors, natural landscapes and urban scenes with subtlety, wit and a sensuous approach to colour and light,” said the gallery.
    Some of the spaces are decorated entirely in one colourThe exhibition features loans from the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, which holds the world’s largest collection of Bonnard’s work, along with significant loans from other museums and private collections from around the world.
    It is organised around 11 themes, which include landscapes, interiors, still life, early nudes, and large decorations.

    India Mahdavi’s striped scenography provides backdrop for furniture exhibition

    There are also sections dedicated to his depictions of music and theatre, views from his 1920s studio in Le Cannet, and scenes of nature and daily life around the town.
    “For Bonnard, landscape painting was a hybrid genre and often included glimpses of interiors and still lifes,” said the gallery.
    Mahdavi is renowned for her use of colourThe gallery has hosted many immersive exhibitions and installations in recent years, including a scaled-down version of Greece’s famous Parthenon temple, a mist-filled chasm in its sculpture garden, and Nendo’s take on the drawings of MC Escher.
    Mahdavi’s best-known projects include the Gallery dining room at London restaurant Sketch, which she originally created in pale pink, then transformed with golden tones in 2022.
    Pierre Bonnard: Designed by India Mahdavi runs until 8 October 2023She recently updated six rooms within Rome’s 16th-century Villa Medici to feature an array of contemporary and colourful furniture.
    Pierre Bonnard: Designed by India Mahdavi forms part of NGV’s Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series, and runs from 9 June to 8 October 2023. For more exhibitions, events and talks in architecture and design visit Dezeen’s Events Guide. 
    The photography is by Lillie Thompson.

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    Capella hotel takes over former government building in Sydney

    Architecture firm Make and interior design practice BAR Studio have converted Sydney’s heritage-listed Department of Education building into the latest outpost from Capella Hotels.

    The adaptive reuse project involved adding a modern extension with curved glass corners to the building’s roof, set back from its sandstone facade to respect the original Edwardian Baroque architecture.
    With these four additional floors, the building now measures eleven storeys high and houses 192 guest rooms alongside bars, restaurants and a 20-metre swimming pool that occupies the former sixth-floor gallery.
    Sydney’s Department of Education building was converted into a Capella hotelSince the Department of Education was constructed in Sydney’s historic Sandstone Precinct in 1912, its interior had been compromised with countless ad-hoc changes, according to Make.
    The studio worked to restore the sense of grandeur envisioned by the original architect George McRae, for example by reinstating the internal garden courtyard on the ground floor.

    “Stitching together the existing Edwardian Baroque-style structure with a new contemporary layer of architecture is one of many things that makes this landmark project stand out as a hotel,” Make designer Michelle Evans told Dezeen.
    It now houses 192 guest rooms and restaurants including Brasseries 1930″Capella Sydney has been a joy to work on, as it builds on our growing portfolio of reusing and adapting existing and heritage buildings,” she added.
    Picking up the baton from Make, hospitality design firm BAR Studio was tasked with creating luxurious yet contemporary interiors for the hotel that work seamlessly with the history of the building.
    “The heritage building that houses Capella Sydney provided us with the underpinning for the interior design,” said co-founder Stewart Robertson.
    A swimming pool occupies the building’s sixth-floor galleryWhile the building’s exterior was largely intact, only a few areas of historical significance remained inside.
    Some of these spaces offered incredible opportunities for reinvention, such as the gallery on the former top floor, which has become the Auriga spa and pool.
    Meanwhile, references to the original steel-framed windows were incorporated into the interiors via a recurring motif of framed forms.

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    Steel in black and bronze finishes was used throughout the building to frame doors, windows and screens, making a subtle reference to the district’s origins in the age of industry.
    This serves the practical purpose of delineating and dividing spaces but also brings a restrained form of embellishment, Robertson said.
    “We’ve used framing techniques to create separation but also to build an organic connection between the public spaces,” he explained.
    “We wanted the colour and finish to feel appropriate to the original era but also for these elements to read as new and sophisticated insertions.”
    The same floor also houses a spaA palette of natural materials brings a sense of subtle luxury to the bedrooms and communal spaces.
    Steel was used alongside honed marble, sandblasted travertine, natural wall coverings and light and dark timber. This approach enables the heritage features as well as the art and objects to become the focal points.
    The colour palette, too, is simple and neutral, taking its cues from the material palette with stone-coloured walls and tan leather upholstery.
    Each treatment room sits under a one of the original roof lanterns”The neutral base palette of cream stone and dark and light timber integrates with the existing architectural and design elements but sets a warm and soothing mood, creating a real sanctuary from the surrounding city,” explained Robertson.
    In keeping with the light touch of the new architectural interventions, much of the furniture draws on the concept of campaign furniture – traditionally made for military campaigns and therefore easy to transport.
    “These portable and ingenious pieces bring the comforts of home to remote places,” said Robertson.
    A recurring motif of framed forms features throughout the hotel’s interiorsOther Capella hotels include the Norman Foster-designed Capella Resort – set on an island off the coast of Singapore – and the Capella Sanya, which won the 2020 AHEAD Asia award for best landscaping and outdoor spaces.
    The photography is by Timothy Kay.

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